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No effect of vitamin D supplementation on markers of immune function in apparently-healthy young adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 November 2009

M. S. Barnes
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
L. K. Forsythe
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
G. Horigan
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
M. P. Bonham
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
E. M. Duffy
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
T. R. Hill
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
A. J. Lucey
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
K. D. Cashman
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
M. Kiely
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland
J. J. Strain
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
J. M. W. Wallace
Affiliation:
Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
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Abstract

Type
Abstract
Copyright
Copyright © The Author 2009

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D, the hormonally-active form of vitamin D has been shown to be an effective immunomodulator, leading to a cytokine profile that is less inflammatory(Reference Holick1). Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to significantly reduce serum concentrations of TNFα by 10% and significantly increase serum concentrations of IL-10 by 40%, albeit in patients with congestive heart failure(Reference Schleithoff, Zittermann and Berthold2). The effect of vitamin D supplementation on immune function in apparently-healthy individuals has not been investigated. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the effect of vitamin D supplementation on markers of immune function in a group of young adults.

A total of 236 apparently-healthy young males and females aged 20–40 years were recruited from Coleraine and Cork and randomly assigned to receive 5, 10 or 15 μg cholecalciferol/d or placebo for 22 weeks(Reference Cashman, Hill and Lucey3); 211 volunteers completed the study with >85% compliance (males 107; females 104). Vitamin D status (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, S-25(OH)D concentrations) and serum concentrations of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 were assessed at baseline and post intervention using commercially-available ELISA kits.

One-way between-groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to assess the effect of treatment on vitamin D status and markers of immune function, controlling for age, gender, BMI and baseline concentrations. Vitamin D supplementation significantly affected S-25(OH)D concentrations (as shown in Table) but did not have an effect on serum concentrations of TNFα or IL-10.

IQR, interquartile range.

a,b,c,d Means with unlike superscript letters were significantly different between groups (ANOVA; P<0.05). *Effect of treatment assessed by ANCOVA controlling for age, gender, BMI and baseline concentrations.

In conclusion, vitamin D supplementation had a significant effect on vitamin D status in a dose-responsive manner, but did not affect serum concentrations of TNFα or IL-10 in young adults. It has however, been suggested that circulating S-25(OH)D concentrations >100 nmol/l are required to optimise all vitamin D-dependent functions, levels higher than those observed in the present study, even after supplementation.

This work was supported by the UK Food Standards Agency.

References

1. Holick, MF (2005) South Med J 98, 10241027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
2. Schleithoff, SS, Zittermann, A, Berthold, HK et al. . (2006) Am J Clin Nutr 83, 754759.Google Scholar
3. Cashman, KD, Hill, TR, Lucey, AJ et al. . (2008) Am J Clin Nutr 88, 15351542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Figure 0

a,b,c,d

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